By Robert Firth, Local Democracy Reporter
A man dubbed the ‘Lion of London Bridge’ after he heroically fought off knife-wielding terrorists was left fearing for his life after police warned him he could be on an Isis kill list.
Roy Larner, 53, was warned to keep a low profile by officers following the attack five years ago when he was stabbed eight times by Isis terrorists.
Mr Larner shouted “F*** you, I’m Millwall” as he took on the killers in Southwark’s Borough Market where he had been enjoying a pint with friends at the Black & Blue steakhouse in June 2017.
After recovering from his injuries, Mr Larner escaped alone to a caravan in Romney Marsh on the Kent coast to recharge.
But he struggled to return to normal life after police told him Isis could be hunting him down in revenge for his heroic deeds.
Mr Larner said: “I had done something spectacular and I should have been enjoying the rest of my life, but it was impossible. Even the police said I should be careful because I could be on the Isis kill list.
“It was a nightmare. I didn’t want to sleep because I was having nightmares. I was taking amphetamine to keep awake.
“One night I started smashing the television and stuff up. Someone called the police and they found the amphetamine and arrested me.”
While recovering from his injuries in hospital in 2017, a video emerged of Mr Larner screaming expletives at a black photographer and spitting at him in Elephant and Castle earlier in the year.
A month after the London Bridge attack, he was banned from MP Neil Coyle’s Bermondsey office after calling Muslims “pig-eating c****.” Mr Larner later apologised for the Elephant and Castle incident.
He said: “After the attack I used to think that all Muslims were terrorists. But then I got invited to a mosque and I went in and met people and that was a step forward.
“I realise now you get evil and good everywhere. I love football and you have the football hooligans as well as the people who just watch it for fun.”
Mr Larner was even placed on the government’s anti-terror watch list, Prevent, at one point.
He said he believes police got the wrong end of the stick after far-right groups unveiled banners with his name on at several marches in the capital following the 2017 attack.
Today Mr Larner reserves his anger for the authorities that he feels let him down after the London Bridge incident.
Five years on, he says he is still yet to receive proper counselling and was refused compensation for the injuries he sustained because of his criminal record.
Mr Larner said: “I was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after the attack, but I was just left. The local MPs have let me down. Neil Coyle and Harriet Harman are a waste of public money. They didn’t want to meet face-to-face.
“I’ve never been able to meet the police officers who took me to hospital. They showed the CCTV of me fighting at the inquest but nobody told me. I found out in the papers.”
He added: “I hope what happened to me never happens to anyone again. I got let down by them all. It makes me angry.”
But Mr Larner, who now lives in Nunhead, said messages of thanks and support from members of the public have got him through the difficult times.
His football team Millwall have also given him a lifetime free season ticket in recognition of his bravery.
Mr Larner has written a book about his life and how the 2017 London Bridge attack changed it, called The Lion of London Bridge.